Local News

Taking shelter from the cold

Winter grips hardest on people without the luxuries of cars or local housing. Vanessa Rijo, 33, was bundled up in layers Wednesday morning as she waited for a bus in the Greyhound lobby in the Altoona Transportation Center. It was about 1 16 degrees out. She purchased an electronic ticket ...

Couple sentenced for filthy house

HOLLIDAYSBURG — When Altoona patrol officer Andrew Crist entered a house in the 300 block of Fourth Avenue last April 18, he found clutter everywhere, from the basement to the bedrooms and bathrooms. The were many bags of garbage, a sink full of dirty utensils, kitchen cabinets covered with ...

Lottery players dream big for mega jackpots

Who wants to be a millionaire? The real question is who doesn’t. Lottery players have a chance — albeit slim — to win big with the Powerball and Mega Millions drawings. The numbers for the $450 million Mega Millions jackpot were drawn Friday night. Whether anyone won the jackpot ...

Man accused of naked rampage

A Roaring Spring man is in jail after allegedly going on a naked rampage on Christmas Eve. Dakota A. Ott, 21, of 1279 Smith Lane was arraigned Thursday on felony and misdemeanor charges stemming from an alleged incident Dec. 24 on Spang Street, Roaring Spring. According to charges filed by ...

Indiana County man killed in crash

An Indiana County man is dead after his vehicle was struck Friday morning by a tractor-trailer driven by Cambria County man in Indiana County. Ryan S. Decker, 21, of Armaugh, was killed while driving a 2003 Chevrolet Cavalier along Route 56 in East Wheatfield Township, according to a state ...

Area

HOLLIDAYSBURG Virginia teen accused of stealing car A 15-year-old girl faces charges after state police say she stole a car, crashed into a utility pole and fled the scene. According to state police at Hollidaysburg, the 15-year-old girl, who is from Ashburn, Va., crashed a 2015 Dodge ...

Schirf resigns from water authority

Former city mayor and councilman Bill Schirf, 67, has resigned from the Altoona Water Authority, possibly marking the end of 45 years of community service. “It very well may be” his last public post, said Schirf, a retired Cambria Heights English and communications teacher who was ...

Pittsburgh man faces theft charges

An elderly Pittsburgh man faces charges in Blair County after police say he was behind several shoplifting incidents. Timothy A. Frye, 75, of Pittsburgh, faces three counts of felony retail theft as well as misdemeanor charges of attempted retail theft and theft from a motor vehicle stemming ...

Domestic abuse shelter closing

In a move that shelter leaders said will help more domestic abuse victims in the county, a new research-backed model of providing protection for women and children is set to replace the 35-year-old domestic abuse shelter on Eighth Ave­nue. The communal shelter, operated by Family Services ...

Woman gets 4-8 years for fatal crash

HOLLIDAYSBURG — An Altoona woman will serve four to eight years in jail for a 2016 vehicle crash that killed her 5-year-old son, Robbie Walter. Christen E. Walter, 44, incarcerated almost a year ago when Altoona police charged her with homicide by vehicle while DUI and related charges, ...

Neglected horses lead to charges

EBENSBURG — After a horse was found shot to death in a local barn where two other horses were kept in “deplorable” conditions, numerous criminal charges, including a felony, were filed against an Ebensburg woman. Courtney Weimer, 23, is accused of neglecting and starving the animals ...

Board denies request to demolish planing mill

HOLLIDAYSBURG — A majority of members of a board tasked with upholding the integrity of Hollidaysburg Borough’s historic district voted for a second time to deny a local church’s request to recommend demolition of a historical planing mill. At Thursday’s Historical Architectural ...

New deal between UPMC, Highmark extends access

HARRISBURG — Under a new agreement, Highmark health insurance will maintain in-network access to University of Pittsburgh Medical Center hospitals in western Pennsylvania, including in Altoona and Bedford. Gov. Tom Wolf thanked both health systems in an announcement on Thursday. Wolf, a ...

City church looks to branch out

The Ward Avenue Presbyterian Church welcomed the Rev. Brian Choi as its new pastor in 2017, and through his guidance, the congregation has high hopes for 2018 — to grow and to reflect their faith in Jesus Christ to all they encounter. And it doesn’t hurt that Choi enjoys fishing, both ...

Gov. candidates make their cases

HOLLIDAYSBURG — The public got a sneak peek at the lineup of Republican gubernatorial candidates at a forum in Hollidaysburg on Thursday night. The Blair County Republican Committee hosted the forum at the American Legion Social Hall at Legion Park to give the public the opportunity to get ...

Altoona man to face trial in attempted homicide case

An Altoona man charged with attempted homicide after a November stabbing will face trial. Magisterial District Judge Dan DeAntonio found enough evidence at a preliminary hearing Wednesday to send felony attempted homicide, aggravated assault and related charges against 24-year-old Shawn M. ...

Police: Teens uninjured after driving car into creek

BEDFORD — Two Bedford County teens escaped injury Tuesday night after their car crashed into Bobs Creek. According to state police at Bedford, just after 10 p.m. Tuesday, 19-year-old Kaleb M. Poet of Osterburg lost control of the 1995 Ford Aspire he was driving on Bobs Creek Road in East ...

Spiritual notes

Shabbat Tzedek Temple Beth Israel, 3004 Union Ave., Altoona, will honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with its annual “Shabbat Tzedek” Social Justice Sabbath at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 12. The special liturgy highlights Judaism’s ethical imperatives toward the poor, the stranger and ...

Cold expected to cause issues

The Altoona Fire Department, whose main job is dealing with crises caused by intense heat, is offering help for those in crisis due to the intense cold. During the next several days, the four city fire stations will be available as emergency warming centers for those who lose heat in their ...

State halting pipeline work

Construction permits issued in Pennsylvania for a controversial cross-state natural gas pipeline have been suspended by the state Department of Environmental Protection. Under an order, employees of Sunoco Pipeline LP, a subsidiary of Energy Transfer Partners, must cease construction of the ...